DoTank

Current projects include the following:

What Problem Does It Solve: Overcomes the difficulty with disseminating ideas for design innovations among technical and non-technical participants alike. Putting up screen shots or blog postings on the web make it possible to broadcast an idea but hard to solicit ideas from others for better methods, practices and interfaces.

How Does It Do That: By creating a culture of information sharing and exchange regarding innovation. Instead of a gallery to share vacation photos, these text and image galleries make it simple to upload an idea for a social software innovation and to rate and comment upon those proposals.

Why Is It Different: Unlike Sourceforge or other technology-oriented peer production sites, the Galleries make it possible for non-technical people, such as lawyers and policymakers, to communicate a challenge to the tech community, to get techies thinking about the problem and to communicate the need for technological solutions to non-technical problem solvers.

Who Will Use It: Current instances of the Gallery focus on three audiences but the Gallery could be repurposed for any community to share and trade best practices visually. The three Galleries are:

  • A Gallery of Innovations for Citizen Participation in Electronic Rulemaking
  • A Gallery of Innovations for IT in Law Teaching
  • A Gallery of Innovations for Electronic Democracy

More Details: For any given gallery, the home page defines the problem or challenge to be addressed using text, audio and video. The challenge is then divided into “pathways” or subsets of that problem. A user selects a pathway to view innovations in that area. For example, Law Teaching Technologies Gallery divides innovations into classroom-based, teacher-to-student outside the classroom, student-to-student outside the classroom, etc. Once a pathway is selected, the user sees a gallery of innovations offering ideas for how to improve that practice. The user can view each specific innovation, read the description, rate the innovation, contribute to a weblog and conversation about that innovation. The user can also upload an innovation which means he or she can take a screen shot or make a doodle and upload a picture of it along with a description in text, audio or video and create a blog about that proposal. The contributor indicates which pathway(s) to add the innovation. In this way, people participate in the site, adding innovations which may be ideas for better processes, methods or screen designs. Each innovation will has its own perma-link to allow others to link to and blog about the proposal from other sites. Finally, there is a screen for rating which proposals combine to make the best solution, i.e. which ones go with which. The website will show the top proposals and allow the user to see which proposals rank the highest in each category and in combinations of categories, i.e. show me the most cost effective and most deliberative proposals.

Team: Beth Noveck with

E-Rulemaking: Michael Santorelli

IT in Law Teaching: Edward Chin

Politics and Democracy: Nikitas Nicolakis

Sponsors: Institute for Information Law and Policy, New York Law School

For More Information:: Beth Noveck bnoveck@nyls.edu